Praise the Lord Saints!

Our next subject in the wellness series is hypertension. This is also known as high blood pressure, HBP, and the silent killer. This condition is most common in older people, but now this condition is being diagnosed in teens and maybe younger because of poor diets, not exercising, or family history. This is most prevalent in the African American community and our culture. Saints of God, this lets us know that we are responsible for the upkeep of our temples in this area.

Your blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries. When this force becomes too high, the heart begins to overwork and this can cause damage to your arteries.  Saints, this is serious because there are no symptoms or tell tale signs. It is important to see your doctor regularly, especially if there is a family history of this. This can be going on for years and you’re not aware of it until something happens. This can quietly damage your heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, and kidneys if untreated. 1 in 5 people have hypertension and don’t even know it. The cause of this is unknown, doctors have tried for years to figure out why this happens but there is no clear cut answer.

When getting your pressure checked, the top number is called systolic. This number should at least be below 120. When the heart beats it contracts and pushes blood through the arteries and the rest of the body. The bottom number is called the diastolic, this indicates the pressure in the arteries. This number should be less than 80. When the bottom and top numbers are over the range, you are considered pre hypertension. The danger zone for this is 140/90 or higher. The higher the number the more at risk you are for a heart attack or stroke. If and when you experience severe headaches, anxiety, nose bleeds, or shortness of breath, you are in a crisis and there is no time to waste. See a doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

In the African American culture we have to be careful and watch what we eat and drink especially as we get older. Too much salt in our diets is a big factor. Some of the food we eat is not healthy and we do not exercise and stay fit like we should. For those who drink alcoholic beverages, be careful how much is consumed. Be careful how much weight we put on because this also puts us at risk. If you are a smoker, consider going smoke free.

When seeing your doctor for this, he will prescribe the medicine that is right for you depending on the seriousness of your condition. Not everyone takes the same medicine for this. The doctor will tell you about their recommendation for your diet. They’ll tell you what to eliminate, cut back on, and what’s good for you in order to keep your pressure down and in range.

But as Saints of God we can also make lifestyle changes with the help of God who will lead and direct us if we let Him. Know that once you have been diagnosed with this, this is for the rest of your life. Whatever medicines your doctor has prescribed, you must take every day. Remember if we do what the doctors say, what the Word of God says, and keep this under control, your risk level will lower. We are created in His image and likeness (Gen 1:27), so to be Christ like means we must also be healthy. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).

Be blessed!